Tuesday, December 30, 2008

snake oil? Devils food??

Devils food? THAT'S an Alice Cooper song :)
so I (like a LOT of athletes) have dropped $$$ into suplements that promise lactic acid buffering, increases in performance, drop in weight, or the one I like best that don't seem to work, improved mood LOL Well the latest interest I have is in something to carry me thru longer workouts and provide improved recovery times AFTERWARD. I am taking advantage of an offer from FRS and getting a 30 day free supply. that lance guy is behind it so it's got to work wonders LMAO In all seriosness I used it in the summer and it seems to take the place of Starbucks coffee pretty well, so I had my PR manager LOL order a free trial on her credit card sneaky yes but then again its FREE! Another thing I'm doing is adding a serving of super green food to my daily diet. The crazy thing is we pretty much have to trust the vitamin and supplement industry and with so many things available NOBODY knows what they need. My opinion.... So currently I'm a bit blown after a long workout, so I just started the super green food routine. Lets see how I do, and when the FRS stuff shows up I MIGHT even quit visiting SBUX!! Turns out every so often the stomach gets upset if I had a coffee too close to working out. Too many choices and the last time I checked I wasn't getting paid to use a companies miracles, BUT I am savy enough to get a couple orders of FRS :)

that which doesn't kill ya...

OHH Boy,
the last week or two has been crazy! Bitter cold, lots of snow, and finally driving rain and temps near 60?! That made for some interesting runs as I embarked on my training for April's marathon down at the U of I. I've handled the mileage, and more importantly, the longer distances with no problems but the one thing I've noticed is recovery afterward seems tougher than in the past. Might be a sign of age, - I never felt like this after hard efforts in past years, but if the 40's brings on recovery that normal people always dealt with so be it... Looking forward to a brief New Years getaway and the countdown to actually owning that beauty thats been sitting in the basement since August CALLING me to build it up ;)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

the beginning of my obsession

First off MERRY Christmas!
So a very long time ago (practically in a different lifetime) when my passion or as some would call it obsession with Colnago started, I was lucky enough to buy a beaten C40 from a friend who owns a shop. I came across a photo of the exact same frameset that started this craze. Thanks for that one Freddie!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

reoccuring dreams

Last night I had one of a few dreams that reoccur from time to time. This one involves me showing back up at a job I used to have YEARS later (in which I'm very aware in the dream) and I act as if I've never been gone. I simply jump in and try to pull off the fact that I haven't been around. The weird thing about last nights (unfortunately), is I awoke and was thinking about what I just dreamt about and started thinking about A LOT of details and people from that part of my life, it was strange and unfortunately kept me up for a good hour. Trans Lux, Brian Sims(wonder how he's doing), Jeff Bowers, Joe Kosina, Art Hitterman, part numbers like 50294-01 50386-11, details on assembly... STRANGE sh!%!!
So I'm a bit tired and trying to figure out what the issue is, I have an idea...

Monday, December 22, 2008

so it begins

Today is day one of my training for this springs marathon down at the U. of I. The weather was 5 degrees - fitting..... It may have been no different than any other run, but the fact that today was the start of this winters training and it was so cold made it "special".

Thursday, December 18, 2008


I should know better. 99.989999% of the time the biggest hurdle is simply doing it. I was freakin about the weather, and last night I ran. It was great. While I was out I reminded myself how often that inner voice will put a spin on things making them scarier, harder etc than what they are in reality. JUST SHOW UP and DO IT.
I guess that inner voice is not good at putting a positive spin on things.

Bring ON the winter.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


This last week has me a bit freaked with my decision to train for a spring marathon. I'm definetly NOT backing out, but too many times this week left me with an ill feeling as to things to come. Monday we had painfully cold weather - a cold that went right thru me in the short time I was out and about, a cold that had me chilled the entire day. Tuesday found me driving 3 hours (normally about 40 minutes) in terrible snow covered roads - the first snow of the season. I actually seen a cyclist out in this - stupid... So I spent more than a few minutes of my long slow drive wondering how many of days like this are going to F up my plans? I've never been a winter person and I've been reminded why.

So last week and this one are my down time weeks before formally hitting the roads. Funny but no workouts make Ray an unhappy camper. I see why it's hard for athletes to take some downtime ya know? Think I'm gonna run tonight...

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Out of all the music I love, the ONE person responsible for making me want to pick up a guitar, build one , and chase "the tone" is Edward Van Halen. I've been lucky enough to see him live a good number of times, and EVERY time I've been left amazed. "Eddie is god"!

Friday, December 12, 2008

steep in European tradition

If you know me you know that an argument can be made that I am the inspiration for the kid in the movie "Breaking Away". I AM a died in the Wool Euro Trash -WANNABE LOL
So on this uneventful cold Friday morning, I figured I would share one of my favorite photos. I took this at a Gratto in a nearby town that I visit for moments of prayer, solitude, and inspiration. Anytime my ride brings me close by, I make it a point to stop there. An interesting thing - My last "big" ride of the year found me there where I met up with the Arch Bishop (a hard core Italian) and I took the opportunity to have him bless my Madonna Del Ghisallo medallion. The photo captures the Madonna Gratto along with the road bike quite nicely....


Thursday, December 11, 2008

brave new world (or at least training program)

This winter will be a first as far as preparation is concerned. Historically when beginning training for the new year, I've focused on rollers during the week and lsd rides on the weekends when the roads permitted. I suplemented these workouts with runs mostly because of there aerobic efficiency and to mix things up a bit as well. This year finds me doing just the opposite. I'm beginning my training for an April marathon which requires me to focus on the running with the rides thrown in for variety. I know from experience that Marathon training will keep my weight down, and my aerobic system fine tuned. My hopes is this will get me on the bike lean and fit. YES it's a challenge to be training for a marathon in the dead of winter but the good news is I will then have spring and all of the summer to put the hammer down on the bike as opposed to training for your typical fall marathon. SO.... let's see how this goes :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

the wind the rain and bike porn...

Today was another one of my Advanced Runners led runs at work. Windy, wet, sleet with just a hint of what was becoming ice. Really surprised anybody went out with me. Funny but today was my bosses day to join me and I knew they wouldn't back out..

So what can ya do when the day is done and you don't want to stare at the TV? You surf and look at "bike porn" LOL Every so often I find myself lookin over ride galleries at sites like RoadBikereview.com, and most recently I found this one http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CCY?PAGE=PHOTO_GALLERY&BRAND.ID Some cool rides there. Ya gotta check out the Pegoretti framesets or more importantly some of their paint jobs. Wild!! If I was ever to get a steel frameset again, which I really doubt with the magical ride and light weight of carbon, and more importantly because my new ride's a C40 :), I would consider a Peg but more than likely would buy Tommassini. The true steel artisan. I think I've been inspired to start a beautiful rides thread. I'll start with this one for good measure :)


Finding a Purpose

How many times have you read an article, listened to an inspirational speech, or simply wondered what your purpose in life is? Well, as the years pass I find myself revisiting that question more and more - sometimes at a painful level. A funny thing happened this past weekend. I was out on a run with temps in the single digits and no one else on the streets. It's not an altogether new situation for me to be in, - just last week I found myself doing my first long slow distance single-speed road ride in snow and sleet (daydreaming about Roubaix ;) . As I ran, the topic at hand came to mind, and the answer hit me square between the eyes, - my purpose in life is to continue challenging myself in sport and using my God given talents of riding and running to better myself on every level. To continue my journey of athleticism. It made perfect sense... An epiphany of sorts! It puts meaning behind the passion. It explains why I would train in the frigid off season for a spring marathon. It's the smile on my face as I come home from a run in the rain, or the pleasure in seeing I'm the only one out on such a day. It justifies why I love the pain brought about by an epic ride. It's the complete enjoyment (maybe not during the ride but definetly afterward) of seeing my monthly "performance test" ride continue to increase in AVG speed and lower times, it's all that and more. It's the reason why I subject myself to the pains of pushing myself physically and mentally. My mission is simply to keep moving....
My physical talents are my gift, and my life purpose is to use them.